username
X
password
register help
GuidesRoutes
 
Photosets
LabelsComments
triplogs photosets comments more
Pilot Rock Summit - 3 members in 4 triplogs have rated this an average 5 ( 1 to 5 best )
4 triplogs
  All Months
4 Triplogs
Jan
1
Feb
0
Mar
0
Apr
0
May
1
Jun
0
Jul
0
Aug
0
Sep
1
Oct
1
Nov
0
Dec
0
 

Jan 07 2017
VolcanoCLMBR
avatar

 Routes 1
 Photos 1,968
 Triplogs 422

40 male
 Joined Sep 16 2011
 Phoenix
Pilot Rock SummitNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Backpack avatar Jan 07 2017
VolcanoCLMBR
Backpack18.50 Miles 1,500 AEG
Backpack18.50 Miles2 Days         
1,500 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners partners
ultrazona
Second time at the PFNP and the place just keeps getting better. First time attempting to make it to Pilot Rock was a bust, not this time around! Cold and dry weather makes this hike an absolute pleasure. Headed towards Onyx Bridge and kept going towards the Chinle Mesa in search of the Model T but werent able to find it, ended up logging 11.3 miles for the day after summiting and getting back to camp. The last person to sign the summit register was in April of 2016, this place doesnt get very many people. Being at that summit makes you feel you are in the middle of nowhere but with the convinience of having mobile signal. Would do it over again, or check out another area of the park.
_____________________
The world is my playground!
Sep 27 2014
Randal_Schulha
avatar

 Guides 71
 Routes 98
 Photos 9,967
 Triplogs 1,009

59 male
 Joined May 14 2003
 Ahwatukee, AZ
Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous, AZ 
Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous, AZ
 
Backpack avatar Sep 27 2014
Randal_Schulhauser
Backpack15.16 Miles 1,060 AEG
Backpack15.16 Miles2 Days         
1,060 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
PEFO Pilot Rock Adventure 2014 - "Return of the Painted Desert Rendezvous"
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=8281

Rob del Desierto and I had talked about a PEFO wilderness backpack for some time and agreed that late September would be a great time to target an ascent of the PEFO high point, Pilot Rock :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=2238

As the date approached for the wilderness adventure, some crazy weather starting showing up in the forecast. This served as the primary filter whittling the original 19 committed/interested group of HAZers down to two! Rob and I had exchanged emails indicating both of us were committed no matter what Mother Nature wanted to throw at us - we had plenty of back up plans including;

1. Onyx Bridge :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=874
2. Puerco Pueblo and nearby rock art :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=875
3. PEFO Ranger selections from NPS site :next: http://www.nps.gov/pefo/off-the-beaten-path.htm (Devil's Playground?)
4. Rock Art Ranch :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=1303
5. Grand Falls :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=51

Rob arrived at my Ahwatukee home mid-afternoon and mid-dust storm we were on our way to Holbrook. We were treated to a great light show along the I-40 between Flagstaff and Holbrook. Once checked into our Holbrook Best Western base camp, we broke out the BBQ to grill up some choice steaks and corn-on-the-cob. We were soon joined by a lost beagle. Toko was her name per the engraved heart dangling from her collar. A phone number was also engraved on the heart. We called the surprised owner who promptly sent her brother over to Room 115 to collect the grateful beagle (grateful for the steak samples that is).

Saturday dawn broke with some surprisingly clear skies and a forecast for heavy showers beginning mid-morning.

We forced down some of the Best Western breakfast buffet (the self-made waffle with fresh fruit gets the only passing marks) while sitting amongst all the French tourists. Loaded up the F-150 and headed to PEFO about 20 miles east along the I-40 from Holbrook. We made a slight detour along the way, checking out the flooded Lithodendron Wash. Having explored this rare sight, we made our way over to the park entrance. I had my NPS annual pass ready, but we were being waved through by the Ranger indicating it was one of the "free entrance fee" days at the National Parks - enjoy!

We pulled up to Painted Desert Inn ready to explore the PEFO Black Forest and Quest for Onyx Bridge, but needed to alter plans. I had a chance to explore some parts of Mary Colter's renovation of the Painted Desert Inn :next: http://www.nps.gov/pefo/planyourvisit/u ... b-2013.pdf and Painted Desert Rim Trail :next: http://hikearizona.com/decoder=2236 while Rob took care of business from afar.

We continued our PEFO hiking flexibility by heading over to Puerco Pueblo and exploring the petroglyphs along the west service road heading towards Newspaper Rock.

Our afternoon featured a surprisingly dry and mud-free trek towards Onyx Bridge and some preliminary route finding towards Pilot Rock. Thanks Rob for pointing out the rock art panels and dinosaur fossils along the route.

We wrapped up with a late afternoon BBQ of some brats n beer at the Chinde Point picnic table area :next: http://www.nps.gov/pefo/planyourvisit/u ... _large.pdf before hitting the road back to the PHX area. I think I've got Rob convinced that all Country & Western tunes must contain one of the three main theme items;
1. Girls/Women
2. Alcohol
3. Trucks
Truly visionary Country & Western tunes contain all three main theme items...



Fitbit totals; 15.16 miles and 1060 AEG

Photos to follow (when I get the chance)...

PS. Post hike, we obtained an NPS brochure for Onyx Bridge :next: http://www.nps.gov/pefo/upload/Onyx-Bridge-Hike-2.pdf (includes GPS coordinates for bridge - feeling foolish thwarted again?)

PPS. Rob and I agree that a Spring Redux is mandatory to conquer Pilot Rock and the ever elusive, Onyx Bridge. :)
_____________________
2 archives
Oct 22 2012
Charger55
avatar

 Guides 4
 Photos 542
 Triplogs 500

40 male
 Joined Oct 19 2010
 Mesa, AZ
Pilot Rock SummitNortheast, AZ
Northeast, AZ
Backpack avatar Oct 22 2012
Charger55
Backpack16.00 Miles 1,500 AEG
Backpack16.00 Miles1 Day         
1,500 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
About twelve years ago I made a visit to Petrified Forest National Park. My overall impression was that it was kind of boring. At the time I didn't really understand what a petrified forest was (you mean it's not an actual forest?), and I never ventured too far away from my car to enjoy the park to its fullest potential. Well, that certainly wasn't the case for this trip. This was my first solo backpack and, not counting an ASU-sponsored trip to Havasu Canyon over a decade ago, my first backpacking experience of any kind.

My reason for choosing the Painted Desert was due to its location in a national park. I've been wanting to try backpacking for a while, but haven't felt comfortable with being out in the wild all alone. Choosing a national park, where I had to check in with a ranger and leave a description of my trip and an estimated time of return assuaged some of my fears. Thankfully, that didn't make the trip any less adventurous.

From The Painted Desert Inn at Kachina Point I dropped down into Arizona's badlands. They're similar to the badlands I visited in North Dakota and Montana last month, but with more color and less vegetation. They're still rugged, windswept and muddy though. My first stop was Onyx Bridge, easy enough to find with the GPS coordinates, but kind of a letdown. I guess I was expecting something bigger. When I heard "bridge" I was expecting something that I could walk across. Something that actually traversed over something. There are bigger petrified logs in the park, but most of them are spliced into segments. The only unique feature about this one is that it's one whole log.

After Onyx Bridge I continued north and then contoured west toward Pilot Rock. Going this way allowed me to avoid the most rugged part of the Black Forest Wilderness. About one mile from Pilot Rock I dropped my gear and marked the waypoint on the map. I wasn't going to carry all my gear to the top of Pilot Rock so I soldiered on, carrying only water and food. It took some time to figure out an ascent route, but I eventually made it to the summit of the highest point in Petrified Forest National Park. From the top you get to see just how vast the Painted Desert really is. West of Pilot Rock you can see where the high plains just drop off into the pink dunes of the Painted Desert, which stretches as far as the eye can see. This is definitely seldom-visited terrain. There were only two other entries in the summit register in the past 18 months. I added my name, but didn't realize until I dropped down from the summit that I forgot to include the date of my visit. Oh well, I wasn't going back just for that.

Returning to pick up my gear, I proceeded east toward the heart of the Black Forest. The sun was starting to set. I knew navigating my way across the badlands at dusk would prove to be difficult so I looked for a spot to set up camp. The land here can be very flat, but it's also very windy. I struggled setting up my tent for almost 45 minutes. Just when I thought I had it, the wind lifted the stakes out of the ground and pulled one of the tent poles loose, causing the whole thing to collapse on top of me. I chose to move on in the dark (admittedly not a smart move) and find a better spot. Eventually I settled in a less windy area. Instead of using the tent I just laid out my tarp and rolled myself up in the sleeping bag, sleeping under the stars.

I awoke at first light and packed up my gear. Crossing those hills turned out to be a real challenge. At one point I had to throw my pack down below me and scoot my way down a hill on my butt. Eventually, I found a small drainage. I snaked my way through it until it lead to a wide wash on the east side of the Black Forest. From there it was flat terrain until the final climb back to the Painted Desert Inn. It was quite the experience. It truly is another world down there, unlike any other terrain I've ever traversed in Arizona. I enjoyed backpacking, but my body and feet are hurting two days later. Like everything else, it's probably something I'll have to do a few times just to get used to.
_____________________
"I've driven across deserts, driven by the irony, that only being shackled to the road could ever I be free"
- Frank Turner "The Road"
May 23 1992
mazatzal
avatar

 Routes 31
 Photos 2,166
 Triplogs 1,074

62 male
 Joined Jul 28 2004
 Scottsdale, AZ
Day 1: Petrified & Painted, AZ 
Day 1: Petrified & Painted, AZ
 
Hiking avatar May 23 1992
mazatzal
Hiking7.00 Miles 850 AEG
Hiking7.00 Miles
850 ft AEG
 no routesno photosets
1st trip
Day 1 of our trip:
Petrified Forest and Painted Desert
_____________________
2 archives

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

help comment issue

end of page marker